Category Archives: Martial Arts

Legendary Actors and Martial Artists Aleong and Novak to Be Inducted Into the USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame

  On Saturday, May 20th, legendary actors and martial artists Aki Aleong and Mel Novak will be inducted into the prestigious USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame at their gala in Fullerton, CA. This Hall of Fame was founded by Grandmaster Jim Thomas, Ph.D./D.Sc./Ma.Dsc.

Grandmaster Jim Thomas and Loretta Hallmark

Dr. Thomas is a 10th degree grand master and is recognized as one of 20 worldwide. He has been active in the martial arts field for over half a century. In addition to serving as the head coach for Team USA, he was inducted into 6 various martial arts ‘Hall of Fame’ institutions and listed in ‘Who’s – Who’ in the world of Martial Arts. Grandmaster Thomas has won over 200 awards and trophies and served in the U.S. Air Force for 7 years during the Vietnam Evacuation Era. He was a former athlete for the USA World Class Competition Team and has appeared in over 8 Martial Arts Motions pictures.

Sifu Mark Hoadley

The U.S.A. Martial Arts ‘Hall of Fame’ “Hall of Heroes” was originally created in 1976 by Grand Master Robert Trias, the first man to open a martial arts school in the U.S. In its beginning it was very small in nature and was done spontaneously at various Martial Arts functions. Grandmaster Thomas and Mike Day were called upon to orchestrate this function into what it is today. Even with the passing of Grandmaster Trias and Day, Thomas has kept this event alive himself and includes new exciting things each and every year! This event actually spans three days from May 19th to May 21st with seminars and classes and the gala being on the 20th. Celebrities in attendance at the gala are Kathy Long, Art Camacho, Olivier Gruner and many more. Martial Artist and stand-up comic Mark Hoadley will be opening the gala with his unique style of stand-up comedy. Sifu Hoadley is a 3 time Hall of Fame inductee and last year’s Alliance inductee. Mark frequently performs at The World Famous Comedy Store, The Ice House and the Clown House.

Awardees Aki Aleong and Mel Novak. Photo courtesy of Sheri Determan/PR Photos

Iconic martial artist Aki Aleong has starred in over 50 feature films and 150 TV shows. He has starred in films opposite the likes of Frank Sinatra Jr., Nick Nolte, Christian Slater, Marlon Brando, Faye Dunaway, Joanne Woodward, Ben Kingsley, Ernest Borgnine, Martin Landau, Roger Moore, Peter Lawford, Olivia Hussey, and Pierce Brosnan. He has served on the National Board of the Screen Actors Guild, appointed National Chair of SAG’S EEOC and was a member of the President’s Diversity/Affirmative Action Task Force. Aki’s legendary career started on Broadway in “Teahouse of the August Moon” and “The Interview.” He is probably best known for portraying Senator Hidoshi during the first season of Babylon 5, as well as portraying Mr. Chiang, the aide to Nathan Bates in the weekly series of V: The Series. He also portrayed the character of Colonel Mitamura in Farewell to the King and starred in Missing in Action Part 3 Opposite Chuck Norris and The Quest opposite Jean Claude Van Damme and Roger Moore. Aleong recently starred opposite Jean Claude Van Damme again in Pound of Flesh and just guest starred in an episode of the three time Peabody nominated Suspense show opposite Torohu Masamune (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles).

Aki on set with Danny Trejo

Martial arts legend Mel Novak is best known as the iconic Stick the Assassin in Bruce Lee’s final film Game of Death. He has starred in more than 60 feature films opposite the likes of icons such as Steve McQueen, Yul Brenner, Chuck Norris, David Carradine, Rosie O’Donnell, Dan Ackroyd and many others. He has been bestowed with numerous awards for his acting work as well as humanitarian awards. He has been volunteering on Skid Row for over 30 years and has counseled prisoners at the most dangerous prisons in the country and has also volunteered with the Special Olympics. More recently, he starred in Samurai Cop 2: Deadly Vengeance, #1 grossing indie martial arts action movie of 2015. Mel also starred in the recently released Sony Pictures’ Checkpoint, opposite William Forsythe, Bill Goldberg, Fred “The Hammer” Williamson and Kenny Johnson. Mel also starred in the much buzzed about Holy Terror opposite Kristine DeBell (Meatballs, The Big Brawl) and Vida Ghaffari (The Mindy Project, Jimmy Kimmel Live).

Mel on the set of Check Point with noted director Thomas J. Churchill and William Forsythe

For more info and to purchase tickets, please go to http://www.usamartialartshalloffame.com/california-2017 or call 714-922-1700

Dustin Brown

Dustin Brown

I am the Senior Editor at HollywoodPressCorps.com.

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Syndicate Smasher Has a Smashing World Premiere

Legendary martial arts/action stars came out in droves to support the sold out world premiere of Syndicate Smasher at the Downtown Independent Theater on March 11th! In addition to the cast, celebrities in attendance were Hank Garrett (3 Days of the Condor, G.I. Joe, The Animated Series), Don “The Dragon” Wilson (Blood Fist, The Martial Arts Kid), Robin Shou (Mortal Kombat), Aki Aleong (Missing in Action: Part 3, The Quest) and many others.

“It is definitely a ‘multiple Mob; ie. Chinese, Japanese, Italian, Russian etc. vs Special Forces movie and, if you like lots of action, check it out!,” said Don “The Dragon” Wilson, three time WKA World Kickboxing Champion and holder of 10 world kickboxing titles in 3 different weight classes.

“Syndicate Smasher is one of the best action films I’ve seen in years with a great story and well developed characters the audience can truly care about,” said iconic actor Hank Garrett, Martial Arts, Weightlifting and Wrestling Hall of Famer.

Noted Indonesian filmmaker and producer Benny Tjandra of New GenerAsian Films collaborated on this much anticipated crime thriller that is loosely based on a true story with co-director and writer Doug Tochioka.

Tochioka’s script joins legendary cult star and Martial Arts Hall of Famer Mel Novak (Bruce Lee’s Game Of Death, Samurai Cop 2: Deadly Vengeance) with action heroine extraordinaire Laurene Landon (Maniac Cop opposite Bruce Campbell and Sky opposite Norman Reedus), actors Joe Estevez (Dexter) and Arthur Roberts (Not of This Earth, Revenge of the Ninja), David Prak (Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End) as well as multi award-winning actor/filmmaker Thomas J. Churchill (Check Point, The Rack Pack) and more for a story centered on a group of mercenaries, initially hired as contract killers, who find themselves targets of four powerful crime organizations and families. Guns go ablaze in this action packed tour-de-force, which presents an otherwise appealing little jewel for action movie aficionados.

“This film has the most guns, the most shots, and the most gangsters all in one movie fighting and shooting each other ever,” said Tjandra.

Celebrated gangster fight exploitative martial arts figure Mel Novak is the ultimate bad guy and  mortal enemy of every gangster mob outfit in the world———-” I kill em all, says Novak chuckling——that is The Chinese Triad, The Mafia, the Italians, The Russians, The Japanese all in one film!!”

Mel Novak , whose career has spanned over 30 years, has been in hundreds of films. ” I have killed and been killed by the likes of legendary martial artist and screen legend; Bruce Lee in his epic, “Game of Death” and Chuck Norris in “An Eye for An Eye” and the late, great  Jim Kelley in cult classic “Black Belt Jones.”

Tall, leggy and extremely well-built statuesque blonde, Landon has enlivened a bunch of hugely enjoyable movies with her spunky energy, physical dexterity, bubbly, upbeat personality and considerable sex appeal. She often portrays tough, two-fisted, no-nonsense action heroines with a winning blend of fiery aplomb and cheerful good humor and definitely plays that role to the hilt in this film as the feisty Detective Carol Driscoll.

Churchill gives a great performance in a great character role as the fast talking Andy and Estevez is great as Detective James Beattie. Roberts is wonderful as hard nosed Chief Timothy Darcy. Rounding out the cast is David Prak (Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End) as Dara.

Although this film stars many of the same stars as Samurai Cop 2: Deadly Vengeance, such as Novak, Landon, Churchill and others, this is a completely different kind of film.

Based loosely on a true story, and buttressed by unbelievable special effects, if you come up against Novak, Landon, Churchill and Estevez, it is a death wish as you will get smashed–SYNDICATE SMASHED! Don’t miss it! This film is a great choice for action junkies to get their shoot ’em up binge fix.

More info at http://www.syndicatesmasher.com/

Dustin Brown

Dustin Brown

I am the Senior Editor at HollywoodPressCorps.com.

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